MoU Signed for Thorium Facility in Kalimantan

David Dalton reporting for NucNet writes that four Danish companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indonesian state-owned corporations to potentially build a small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear facility in Kalimantan that can produce one million tonnes of ultra-low emissions ammonia per year.

A statement said the economics of the overall project have not yet been finalised, but construction is expected to cost around USD 4-billion, plus operation and maintenance with the facility operating in 2028.

The four Danish companies are Copenhagen Atomics, Topsoe, Alfa Laval and Aalborg CSP, who signed an MoU was signed with ammonia producer Pupuk Kaltim and national energy company Pertamina New & Renewable Energy, report NucNet.

Copenhagen Atomics, which is developing a thorium molten salt SMR, said in a statement that the ammonia produced by the plant, planned for Bontang in eastern Kalimantan, would be enough to produce fertiliser for the production of food for 45-million people, or about one sixth of the Indonesian population.

The company said: “In the next six months, the final examinations must be completed and the legal landscape in Indonesia should be fully mapped.”

The project will be among the first to use Copenhagen Atomics’ modular molten salt thorium reactors and the proposed nuclear power station will be 1,000 MW, consisting of 25 SMR units. The facility is expected to begin operation in 2028 and would run for 50-years, say NucNet.

Topsoe will supply newly developed electrolysis cell technology. Alfa Laval will deliver heat exchangers and Aalborg CSP will design and supply thermal energy storage systems.

Copenhagen Atomics says its thorium molten salt reactor burns nuclear waste to create an abundance of affordable and “green” energy. The technology has the potential to provide the lowest cost of energy compared with any other energy technology.

Thorium is much more abundant than uranium, which is used to fuel existing reactors. The amount of thorium needed to cover the energy consumption of a person’s lifetime is comparable to the size of a golf ball.

NucNet report that Thorium fuels are said to result in a safer and better-performing reactor core because thorium dioxide has a higher melting point, higher thermal conductivity, and a lower coefficient of thermal expansion. It is more stable chemically than uranium dioxide.

The MoU is the second agreement related to the potential deployment of SMRs in Indonesia in recent months. In March, the US awarded a grant to Indonesia for technical assistance towards the deployment of the Asian nation’s first SMR – with a potential site already chosen in West Kalimantan.

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) said it had awarded the grant to government-owned electricity distributor PLN Indonesia Power for technical assistance to help develop the SMR.

Indonesia Power has chosen Oregon-based NuScale Power to carry out the assistance in partnership with a subsidiary of Texas-based Fluor Corporation and Japan’s JGC Corporation.

Source: NucNet

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